Wednesday, November 21, 2018

"Pleasure and Pain" by The Divinyls

Song#:  2595
Date:  01/25/1986
Debut:  89
Peak:  76
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This Australian band was first formed in 1980 by Chrissy Amphlett and Mark McEntee and after a couple of years playing the clubs they got signed to WEA. Their first recordings for the label were songs that got used in a 1982 film titled Monkey Grip. One song from the associated soundtrack EP, "Boys in Town," ended up being a hit in Australia getting to #8. This boosted the band's potential and soon the full-length debut album Desperate was issued in 1983. The main single from the LP, "Science Fiction," reached #13 and later in 2001 it was selected to be on the list of the 30 best Australian songs of all time by the performing rights organization APRA. Their second album, 1985's What a Life!, featured this track which made it to #11 in Australia. The song was their first to get some action in the US and it did well at Rock getting to #12. It crossed over to Pop for a few weeks but could not climb out of the basement. While more chart singles would follow for the band in Australia, nothing else connected in the US and they would remain off the charts until the turn of the decade.

ReduxReview:  This song caught my attention back in the day. I thought it was well-written with a good arrangement and I like Amphlett's voice. It got a lot of airplay on one of the stations I listened to in Boston and I had intentions of buying the album, but never got it. I was probably was out of money or had to choose between it and something else. The single should have found its way to the Top 40. Not sure why it stalled so early. It's still a pretty cool track.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) Amphlett and McEntee wrote the majority of the band's songs, but this was one they did not write. When seeking out a producer to do some work for the album, they were able to snag Mike Chapman for a couple of songs. This was one of the tracks Chapman produced. He also co-wrote it with Holly Knight. The pair had been having good success supplying material for artists like Pat Benatar and Tina Turner, and they penned this one for the Divinyls.  2) The Divinyls' 1990 self-titled album would contain their biggest hit - the controversial "I Touch Myself." The song would hit #1 in Australia and #4 in the US. Written by hit makers Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg along with Amphlett and McEntee, the slightly salacious tune ruffled the feathers of some radio stations who refused to play it. Of course these bans usually add fuel to the promotional fire, so it only helped the song along. It would be the Divinyls only other charting single in the US. Because of this and the fact that it was their only major hit, they are often considered one-hit wonders here.  3) Chrissy Amphlett was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007. She then got breast cancer in 2010. The multiple sclerosis prevented the full treatment of the cancer and in 2013 Amphlett passed away due to the diseases.


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